In the News: Oct 18–25

Millennials Seek Alternatives for Primary Care

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights a national poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found significant differences across the generations regarding who has a primary care provider. Of those survey respondents aged 18–29 years, 45% reported they did not have a primary care provider, compared to 28% of people aged 30–49 years, 18% of people aged 50–64 and 12% of people aged 65+. Millennials are leading the way toward convenient, immediate health care that is technologically integrated and transparent in its pricing.

Health systems continue to grapple with how to build consumer-centric strategies. As consumer preferences evolve, Sg2 believes health systems need data to understand what really matters to consumers. For insight on contrasting consumer behavior among the generations, view the Sg2 webinar Consumerism Update 2018: Sg2 Shares National Consumer Survey Highlights.

ASC Quality, Safety Grades to Be Published in 2020

According to a recent Modern Healthcare article, the Leapfrog Group will begin publishing safety and quality performance grades for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and hospital outpatient surgery departments in 2020. The first year of the survey will include approximately 250 ASCs.

While more than 23 million surgeries are performed annually in ASCs, CMS requires that ASCs publicly report on only 4 quality measures. For the Leapfrog grading system, ASCs will likely need to submit workforce information, procedure volumes and infection rates among others.

The number of ASCs has grown substantially over the past 15 years, with over 500 ASCs currently operating in the US. Sg2 believes that while ASC growth has slowed, health systems may still see some growth as procedures move from hospital outpatient departments to ASCs. To learn about the factors that will stimulate the shift of procedures to outpatient settings, including ASCs, read the Sg2 FAQ Migrating Surgical Procedures to ASCs.

Low-Income Patients in Non–Medicaid Expansion States Forgo Care

A Modern Healthcare article presents findings from a recently published Government Accountability Office/National Center for Health Statistics report that analyzed federal survey data from 2016 to understand access to health care for low-income adults in states with and without Medicaid expansion.

The report found that in the 17 states that have not adopted expansion, nearly 20% of low-income people avoided medical intervention in the past 12 months because they couldn’t afford care. They also reported higher rates of medication noncompliance (8%) compared to low-income adults in expansion states (5%). As states consider Medicaid expansion, this report demonstrates that those without expansion will see more low-income adults remaining uninsured or underinsured.

Ongoing federal deregulatory actions, such as the repeal of the individual mandate tax penalty, have prompted both counter and supportive legislative responses from states, creating a volatile policy landscape for health systems. To learn how systems can respond to such uncertainty, read the Sg2 Expert Insight 2018 Policy Landscape: Federal Deregulation Sparks State Regulation.

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